When I was first asked to interview Karen, I was really nervous and shocked that I was even considered for such an honour. I am not the type of person who gets star struck but if I’m honest, I was a bit intimidated to sit down with her one-on-one. For those of you who don’t know, Karen Behnke is one of two women behind the world renown organic hair, skincare and makeup company Juice Beauty. Her counterpart in the fabulous eco-chic company is none other than the amazingly talented Gwyneth Paltrow.
I admired Karen on so many levels before I met her but I really hoped that sitting down with her would provide insight into the beauty world only a successful beauty maven could know. I was nervous to do the interview, but I knew I could meet the challenge.
When I arrived at her hotel room in Yorkville there were delicious (healthy) snacks waiting with chilled juices for her guests. It was clear to see that Karen wanted everyone to feel comfy and at home with her. I was almost taken aback by how down to earth and approachable she was.
Once I was all settled in, Karen began to talk excitedly about all the new, up-and-coming products for Juice Beauty. And let me add, I was equally excited to hear all about them!
As we got more into the interview, I introduced myself a bit more and told Karen some of the reasons I love her products so much. I was also able to share with her my reasons for frequently recommending Juice Beauty on my blog and social media platforms.
Here’s a little bit about me, the world of mom-blogging and why Juice Beauty is such a regular on my vanity: My name is Shira and I am makeup artist, beauty blogger and mama. In 2013, I founded a luxury hair and makeup business called The Beauty Movement. We help women get ready for big occasions, parties, galas and events. We are a mobile service, so we bring the primp-and-pamper to you.
As things evolved in both my business and personal lives, I noticed that there was a shift in demand from my clients. I kept getting requests for help with day-to-day beauty and skin care. This new demand came from new and young moms, who were transitioning from one stage of their life to another. With new time restraints, new skin types emerging and personal needs that have changed over time, women began to look to me for help.
That’s when I decided to branch out and start my STOP DROP & MAKEUP blog. My blog is a place where moms and busy women everywhere are able to access the information they need with a click of a button. After starting my blog, one thing I noticed was that most of my new mommy clients were interested in organic makeup and skincare solutions. I knew that it was incredibly important to offer them a product that was not only organically made but one that fashioned beautiful results too.
Almost at the very same time, Juice Beauty began to launch in Canada. To me, it seemed the fit and timing were just perfect. I began to use their products myself, and then started to promote their amazing lineup to my clients. Since then I have been a huge supporter of Juice Beauty and my clients are always happy with the results. Most clients just can’t get over how fresh and light the products feel on the skin! That seems to be exactly what Karen and Juice Beauty were aiming for when they designed this amazing eco-chic line.
Now let’s get to my Q & A with the amazing Karen Behnke:
What’s the number one piece of advice you can give to women who are trying to juggle running their own business and a family?
Karen’s advice is pretty straight forward. “Keep it simple. Make time for the family when they need it and make time for work when it needs you.” Karen also credits working out on a daily basis to keep herself balanced and energized. She told me that she has to “work out to keep it real.” When her babies were young she’d wake up at 6am to make sure she got her workouts in.
When was your eureka moment? When did you know you were onto something and wanted to keep going?
“I never really thought of it that way… I just had so much passion about the line and what I was doing that it kept me going. It’s inherent, it’s a drive.” She then casually added, “I guess when Gwyneth Paltrow is your business partner it’s a good sign.”
Karen lifts her head proudly as she adds, “Passion drives me and it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other. We are giving people Juice Beauty, which was also named one of the years most innovative brands by Forbes.” CircleUp25 is a branch of Forbes that recognized Juice Beauty in 2017 for its originality in the field of beauty and skin care. CircleUp25 is a yearly contest that recognizes 25 of the world’s most innovative consumer and retail brands with the title of Brands of the Year. With net revenue growing 35% two years ago, and 37% last year, it’s no wonder why Juice Beauty’s organic lineup made people stop and take notice.
Talking about life and careers, Karen and I discussed that Juice Beauty was not her first venture. In fact, it is her third company and she speaks proudly about that. To all the entrepreneurs out there, she wants you to know that “trying different passion projects is fine, you’ll find the one that’s right for you.’
Next, Karen and I got into some more product specific questions.
How did the idea of Phyto pigments come about?
“Phyto pigments was a natural extension of what we do. We work so hard to deliver the cleanest products to our clients and the thought of endocrine disrupting chemicals and dyes was not something we were going to compromise our line with.”
Mini lesson: Phyto pigments are the unique pigments derived from fruits and veggies used in the Juice line; for example, the intense black pigment in their mascara is derived from purple carrots. (On a side note, this happens to be one of my favourite mascaras and has the added bonus of giving me lashes that look healthier than ever before!)
If you were stuck on a desert island what 3 Juice Beauty products would you want to be stuck with?
Karen’s first response, “Oh dear!! I hope I get off the island soon! But I would have to have our CC Cream with a built in mineral based SPF 30 with me, our Under-Eye Cream and the Stem Cellular Moisturiser. Please don’t leave me on the island without those products!”
In a world where there are so many unrealistic beauty ideals (think: lip fillers, Botox, enhancers especially seen on Instagram), how does Juice Beauty eco-chic line holdup? Your line is fresh and trendy, and despite the huge dichotomy, Juice is doing exceedingly well in the beauty industry today.
To that Karen notes, “Right, good point. Our typical Juice Beauty client is doing a bit of that. Women especially use our makeup for that natural look and we are also getting a lot of the artists and people who want a more dramatic, enhanced look using our makeup… I think if you have products that work, they will span all types of markets.”
Most organic lines are either small batch or when they start to expand they compromise on their quality. How do you maintain such a high standard while expanding?
“We are constantly on the production line. We are constantly manufacturing so we always have fresh smaller batches… We have to because we are organic.” Karen attests, “we are completely set up to work that way. And we are 100% committed to maintaining the quality of our products.”
You recently launched the green apple brightening essence, which I can not get enough of. It helps reduce the appearance of sunspots, brightens the complexion, reduces the appearance of fine lines and makes for a better makeup application. What was your inspiration behind this wonderful product?
Karen sits a little straighter in her chair, and tell me that she was “inspired by Japanese beauty for that particular product. I love that when you press it into the skin when applying, it gives a more glowy appearance.”
Adele’s makeup artist used the Juice Beauty serum enriched foundation for her recent performance at the Grammys. Does this make you feel excited?
“Yes!!!” Karen is beaming as she tells me, “I can’t get over it when I hear that these big artists are enjoying our line. We worked very closely with Michael [Adele’s MUA] as he was very excited about the product too. It never gets old and it was a huge thrill to hear she wanted to wear our foundation!”
As we wrapped up conversation, Karen and I spoke a bit more about life and beauty. On our parting I asked if she had anything else to say to the readers, to which she replied, “You can do anything if you are passionate enough.”
I left her room uplifted.